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Apple swats aside electric motorcycle startup with aggressive auto recruitment

Although Apple has never publicly confirmed that it is developing an electric car, the company has been aggressively hiring auto experts from the likes of Tesla Ford and Mercedes-Benz.

Now, this strong-arm recruitment has resulted in a startup specialising in electric motorcycles having to close its doors for good due to losing all of its top talent to the iPhone-maker.

The startup in question, Mission Motors, ceased operations in May and filed for bankruptcy in September after multiple staff were tempted to join Apple's forces, no doubt with increased salaries and benefits. When you consider that Mission Motors only had 35 employees at the time, it's easy to see how a few key losses could seriously harm the startup.

Former Chief Executive Derek Kaufman said: "Mission had a great group of engineers, specifically electric drive expertise. Apple knew that - they wanted it, and they went and got it."

The timing of Apple's approach also worked against Mission, as efforts to raise funding were seriously undermined which resulted in potential investors backing out.

This is not the first time a smaller company has come out second best in a fight against the juggernaut that is Apple. Elon Musk has publicly trolled (opens in new tab) the Cupertino-based company for hiring its engineers and electric-car battery maker A123 Systems sued Apple earlier in the year for alleged employee poaching (opens in new tab).

Sam Pudwell
Sam Pudwell

Sam is Head of Content at Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, and has more than six years' experience as a reporter and content writer, having held the positions of Production Editor, Staff Writer, and Senior Business Writer at ITProPortal.